Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Iran Able to Build Missile-Deliverable Nuclear Weapons, if It Chooses to Do So – Report

‘We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.’
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Wednesday delivered the threat assessment of the US intelligence community to Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Statement for the Record on Worldwide Threat Assessment includes significant portions on issues related to Iran. Following are the text on Iranian nuclear program.

“We continue to assess that Iran’s overarching strategic goal of enhancing its security, prestige, and regional influence have led it to pursue capabilities to meet its civilian goals, and give it the ability to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons, if it chooses to do so. At the same time, Iran’s perceived need for economic relief has led it to make concessions on its nuclear program through the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action with the P5+1 countries and the European Union (EU). In this context, we judge that Iran is trying to balance conflicting objectives. It wants to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities while avoiding severe repercussions – such as a military strike or regime-threatening sanctions. We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.

Of particular note, Iran has made progress during the past year by installing additional centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant, developing advanced centrifuge design, and stockpiling more low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (LEUF6). These developments have better positioned Iran to to produce weapons-grade uranium (WGU) using its declared facilities and uranium stockpiles, if it chooses to do so. Despite this progress, we assess that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded material and produce enough WGU for a weapon before such activity would be discovered. Iran has also continued to work toward starting up the IR-40 Heavy Water Research Reactor near Arak.

We judge that Iran would choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons, if Iran ever builds these weapons. Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering WMD, and Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East. Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles – along with its desire to deter the United States and its allies – provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

We assess that if Iran fully implements the Joint Plan, it will temporarily halt the expansion of its enrichment program, eliminate its production and stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium in a form suitable for further enrichment, and provide additional transparency into its existing and planned nuclear facilities. This transparency would provide earlier warning of a breakout using these facilities.”

File photo: Isfahan Conversion Plant (AFP)


Anonymous said...

And why exactly is this such a big surprise?

Mark Pyruz said...

One gets the impression the U.S. intelligence community is impressed by Iran's technical capabilities, with a potential model being the path of India.

However there are a number of differences between a potential India model and Iran's trajectory, the biggest being Iran's adherence to the NPT and its numerous declarations of not intending to build a nuclear weapon.

However it is safe to say that if Iran made the political decision to follow India's example, the time scale it took for India would be a ball-park for how long it would take Iran.

I'm guessing the threat assessment does not discuss the political, economic and military drawbacks that Iran would incur in following India's example. It's also evident that by Clapper's triumphalist narrative of a successful coercion strategy, the assessment does not discuss Iran's strategic initiative in demonstrating the nuclear dispute to be unjustified, with a minimum goal of splitting the EU away from the dispute, and a maximum goal of detente and eventual rapprochement with the U.S., which has been initiated and tried a number of times in the past but without success.

Anonymous said...

one gets the impression that the fanboy continues to spew manure and claim that he's trying to grow orchids.

Yossarian said...

Isn't Clapper the same guy who is reading my emails?

Anonymous said...

Finally it has been confirmed for good that Iran is now a de facto Nuclear Power! Iran has indeed met its goals!

Anonymous said...

and possibly going to be reading your entrails.

Anonymous said...

Iran succeded, they reached break-out capacity. That is all they ever wanted.

Anonymous said...

The old Soviet Union was far more advanced and better armed. With over fifteen thousand nuclear warheads and with one of the largest land armies on the planet. But in the end it collapsed like a pack of cards.The anti-Iranian regime in Iran is built on a foundation of lies and propaganda.It is destine like the old Soviet Union to end into the dustbin of history.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous January 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM, the same, recycled rhetoric from the anti-Iranian people. Always insisting on the imminent end of Iran for the last 35 years. Here you are

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:54 PM

When did I say the imminent end of Iran? I said,the collapse of the Islamic terrorist regime occupying Iran is just a matter of time and will end in the dustbin of history. Two very different things. Don't get Iran confused with a Islamic terrorist regime occupying it. And it's not "recycled rhetoric" but a fact that no evil regime like the one in Iran lasts for ever.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:50 PM, people like you have been saying that for the past 35 years, usually with the extra claim that such a collapse will be imminent. You and others like you, will still be saying that in another 35 years time. Just like this

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59 PM

That's where you're wrong. Until about 2009 I never thought that an Islamic government would ever collapse. Lets weigh up some facts and figures about the regime. Khameini the terrorist of cinema Rex Abadan is nearly 80. Rafsanjani the kingpin of the theocratic system and chief charlatan and thief is 80. The Iraqi Larijani brothers are well known bandits and liars and are disliked by Iranians. Khatami the has-been is a two faced charlatan. Mousavi the weasel was prime minister under his god father Khomeini when thousands of young Iranians were executed during the eighties. The rest of the losers are a bunch of theives liers and murderers looking after number one. The IRGC are nothing but armed market traders and drug dealing criminals.So what's this about "another 35 years"? Who else is there? I support no political group or person. Please enlighten me.